Candex May Help with Sugar Digestion

Epiphany Regarding Increased Sugar Tolerance in My Daughter

First of all, I want to express my sincere sympathy for those families suffering as a result of the Sucraid shortage. Our family has a high enough sucrose tolerance that we are able to use enzyme supplements from various nutritional companies to offset any excess sugar consumption. Though we all experience mild to moderate symptoms when we eat foods containing added sucrose (mostly cane sugar as we avoid high fructose corn syrup when possible). I won’t pretend to relate to those who have ZERO TOLERANCE TO SUGARS, even in natural foods such as fruit or root vegetables.

However, I wanted to share a ray of hope! My oldest daughter, diagnosed with CSID at 14, has always had very low sugar tolerance. She is still able to have some starches and grains in moderation, so she can take in enough carb-based calories. One of her chronic symptoms associated with CSID is recurring yeast infections. Since this form of yeast (Candida albicans) thrives on starch and sugar, I believe finding a way to minimize the overgrowth of this yeast could help curb this issue.

She is currently 22 years old a pregnant and I was concerned that she wouldn’t be getting enough calories once typical cravings set in. For us, I’ve noticed a pattern that leads to craving food we shouldn’t eat the more we partake in sugary or starchy foods. It’s actually not just a theory — sugar is an addictive substance. Especially the processed, white form.

Candex Enzymes for Intestinal HealthAnyway, before I go off on an anti-sugar rant, my daughter is an adult and makes her own choices. But I recently learned of a supplement, containing mostly enzymes, that supports digestive health by targeting the specific types of cells that make up Candida albicans. As a bonus, this supplement also contains Amylase, Invertase, and Glucomylase.– the enzymes that break down different forms of sugar!

CANDEX is manufactured by Pure Essence Labs and sold through various online retailers including Energetic Nutrition (my former employer and currently still a freelance client – but I get no form of compensation for mentioning this product).

After checking with her doctor and getting approval to take while pregnant, my daughter started taking Candex about a month ago. In a totally unrelated conversation a little over a week ago, she asked me if I’d ever heard of someone with CSID who experienced a higher tolerance to sugar while pregnant.

I told her honestly, I hadn’t been in touch with many adults with CSID or discussed their diets in enough detail to know. Then it occurred to me that she had been taking Candex (be it not consistently and not even on an empty stomach as recommended by the manufacturer). This is totally theory based on one individual, but this supplement may actually be helping my daughter to have a higher tolerance to sucrose! She had also lost weight in her first trimester but has gained 6 pounds in the past month.

Now, I don’t condone or encourage regular consumption of sugary foods – especially when the food itself only offers empty calories and no nutritional value. But I would like to offer this as a possible help in assisting with sucrose digestion.

Can Candex HELP THOSE WITH CSID?

The only way to know the answer to this is for others to be willing to try it. If the manufacturer can claim it is safe for pregnant women and children (note this is not a medical claim as they are not citing a specific disease), there is theoretically little risk.

However, I can only say that Candex appears to be helping in my own family. But if – and this is a BIG IF – others were willing to try it after consulting their health care provider or dietitian, and then to share the result in a comment on this blog, then maybe the answer could help others.

Side Note on the Differences Between FDA-Approved Drugs and Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements (such as Candex) are not approved by the FDA. One reason being the loopholes supplement companies would have to jump through (current Sucraid shortage point in case) to get approval. Another being that the natural ingredients that comprise supplements vary due to them being – well – natural  and not created in a lab. And a third reason is that the FDA only approves DRUGS used to treat disease or symptoms of disease. They don’t approve natural remedies that can help prevent imbalances that may lead to disease, or bring a body back into balance after experiencing illness or stress. FDA approval does NOT mean that the drug is safe or doesn’t have side-effects. It means that they have determined the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks or side-effects in taking it.

With that said, there are many nutritional supplement companies out there that have gone above and beyond in order to show consumers that they can manufacture products of high-quality and with safety standards. This means using pure ingredients, minimal fillers or additives, and testing for quality. But no matter how many trials or scientific studies may indicate a certain supplement may help with a specific health issue, they are not permitted to make a medical claim in describing their product.

This is a nutshell explanation and is actually very complicated. But I’ve spent the better part of the past year having to re-write product descriptions for Energetic Nutrition to comply with this standard of DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act). I have yet to finish revisions on this blog as a result, but I wanted to explain that any vague or non-specific descriptions are a result of this Act.

Your thoughts?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about taking supplements for digestive health. Regardless of how well we curb our children’s or our own diets to compensate for CSID, taking something to help support healthy digestion, or assist our bodies in reducing symptoms associated with poor digestion, seems like a smart choice to me.

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Getting diagnosed with CSID as an adult or teen

As difficult as it is for parents to adjust to feeding their young child with a recent CSID diagnosis, suspecting or receiving a CSID diagnosis is even harder as a teen or adult. Babies and young children have the advantage of never knowing a life of consuming excess sugar or starch. If regulated and monitored, they will at least know how beneficial living without these foods can be. Even if they experiment as older teens or adults, they will quickly learn their tolerance levels and have their childhood lessons on proper food choices to fall back on

My miserable teen years

I often reflect back to my teen years and a point where I was so frustrated from getting an upset stomach or gas every time I ate, I wished I could just take a pill to satisfy my hunger. Eating has rarely been a pleasure for me. I used to blame it on stress alone, and I’m sure stress played a part, but if I had only known how to curb some of my common eating habits at a younger age – I wonder how different my life would look now.

You see, it wasn’t until after two of my children were diagnosed with CSID and I decided I would only eat what they could as I began experimenting with recipes, that I realized I, too, likely had CSID. But that was back in 2007 when I was a stay-at-home-mom and my time and financial resources were plenty.

Confirming what I already knew

Finally, a visit with the genetics department and a GI doctor back in 2014 confirmed my suspicions. However, there still wasn’t a pill out there that could help my cause! I had to make a daily choice – meal by meal – and avoid those foods I knew were harmful to me. I also learned that if I chose to continue consuming gluten or sugar (at that point I thought that moderation wouldn’t hurt me) – that it could lead to other problems. Eventually I realized my fibromyalgia symptoms were linked to gluten and sugar consumption as well. Beyond stomach upset, consuming taboo foods could also trigger a flare-up of chronic pain, severe PMS, or a migraine that lasted for days.

Bad habits die hard

But curbing poor eating habits and fighting the urge to consume what’s in front of me (especially when hunger demanded I eat something) is easier said than done. Despite knowing I am setting an example for my teenage and adult children (they are ages 12-22 as of the date of this post), I still give in on occasion – and always pay a price.

However, after experiencing a horrible migraine the day before heading off on a week-long writer’s conference at the end of March, my resolve strengthened. Enough is enough – I must learn to care for my own digestive health in hopes that my children will see me benefiting and make their own wise choices. (See PREPARING FOR THE 21-DAY SUGAR DETOX  to read more on my own commitment to change.)

A new reason to get well – I’m going to be a grandmother!

My oldest daughter is pregnant and constantly hungry  while she and her husband balance working 2 jobs each. Now that we are living close to each other, I desire to model proper eating habits regardless of the chaos of life. With a grandchild on the way, my motivation is stronger than ever. I want to be healthy and capable of spending as much time with him or her as possible!

 

Digestive Enzyme Deficiency Support

During the better part of the past year, I have had the privilege of working for an online retailer of various brands of high-quality supplements. Part of my job has been to write or rewrite their blog content and one of my first projects was to write a blog on digestive enzyme deficiency. My boss was eager for me to share my knowledge related to CSID with their general readership and we both learned a lot in the process.

I have posted the first part here with a link to read the entire article on the Energetic Nutrition blog.

Finding Support for Digestive Enzyme Deficiency

More than Occasional Tummy Troubles

A healthy, fully functioning digestive system provides essential detoxification, immune system support, and energy from the proper breakdown of food. It is a well-known fact that over 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract.

Many times symptoms of compromised digestion do not become apparent until disease or chronic illness are present.

If the digestive system is unable to function properly, various symptoms can surface from something as simple as occasional stomach ache, acid indigestion, or flatulence to more serious chronic conditions such as food allergies or digestive disease.

When digestive problems begin to interfere with everyday life, a quick, over-the-counter solution may be the first line of defense. However, these remedies often only cover up symptoms and do not address the root of digestive distress. For long-term results, adding digestive enzyme supplements can provide the body with added digestive support in addition to alleviating symptoms.

CONTINUE READING AT ENERGETIC NUTRITION/BLOG

Managing CSID when time and money are limited

Challenges of CSID during life changes

Over the past 18 months or so, our family has endured many challenges. Sticking with the ideal food and supplement choices has not only been hard, but impossible at times. I’ve had to allow compromises, only to see my children or myself suffer as a result. And as much as I want to be that “perfect” example for all those parents or adults out there struggling with a recent CSID or GSID diagnosis – I also want them to know there will always be challenges.

Yet, because of all the knowledge and experience I have gained from trial and error, and understanding from resources that focus on providing our bodies with digestive support – I am hopeful that in time we will get back on track.

I am also learning how different each CSID case is – along with how close relatives may experience various levels of carbohydrate intolerance, autoimmune diseases, or mild digestive upset. As of today, 4 of my 5 children as well as my husband recognize associated symptoms when they choose to partake in food containing sugar, starch, or dairy products. In June, my 17 year-old son, Dawson, received a Celiac Disease diagnosis after several unexplained events related to inflamed joints. (See Our CSID Story and scroll down to 1999 to read how we’ve had warning signs since he was young). I will write a separate post about the challenges and blessings that have resulted from this diagnosis. Ultimately, we are learning that our entire family should avoid sugar (processed, artificial, or corn syrup based), starch (from wheat and most grains), or dairy (except grass-fed organic on occasion) as much as possible.

And this is really the purpose behind my blog and my book A Place to Start Without Sugar or Starch. It’s about knowing we are not alone in this daily battle. It’s about understanding we will fail at times, but that it is possible to gain ground again and seek out the resources and answers that can provide a lifestyle of true health and wellness again

Here are my most recent tips to providing CSID-friendly meals while on the go and on a tight budget!

Tips for quick and easy CSID Meals

For some of these meals, a digestive enzyme may be required to help the individual process any naturally occurring sugars or starches. Choose one options per bullet point and modify them as needed.

Breakfast

  • Nitrate-free bacon with a semi-ripe banana, one slice of gluten-free toast (Schar brand is also egg free!)
  • Sweet potato (we use the light ones with white flesh) hash browns with chopped tomatoes and egg prepared as desired
  • Gluten-free, non-GMO cold cereal with unsweetened almond milk (digestive enzymes recommended)
  • Bob’s Red Mill Rice Farina (super excited to have recently discovered this as Cream of Wheat used to be our favorite years ago!) NOTE: This contains approximately 32 grams of starch per 1/4 cup, yet for unknown reasons everyone in our family seems to tolerate any food derived from brown rice very well.

Lunch/Snack

  • Raw almonds
  • KIND bars granola bars (gluten-free and non-GMO)
  • Unsweetened applesauce or semi-sweet fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, or red pears.
  • Nitrate-free, gluten-free lunch meat sandwich on gluten-free bread (we use smashed avocado in place of mayo due to Parker’s egg white allergy)
  • Tuna salad (albacore, wild-caught tuna blended with avocado, olive oil, sea salt and a dash of white vinegar on a bed of romaine lettuce with black olives and grape tomatoes)
  • Non-GMO peanut or almond butter sandwich or cup with celery. We use Simply Fruit jam or honey.
  • Non-GMO chips (moderation recommended if they contain corn ingredients)
  • Fresh bite-sized, non-starchy veggies such as sugar snap peas, celery, cucumber

Dinner

  • Brown rice pasta with organic spaghetti sauce (if buying jarred sauce, check ingredients carefully), with ground turkey or grass-fed ground beef
  • Sweet potato skillet (1 pound ground turkey, beef, or leftover chicken plus 2-3 white sweet potatoes shredded or sliced and cooked until crispy, and a steamed vegetable such as green beans or broccoli). On occassion, we use brown rice in place of sweet potatoes.
  • Crockpot chicken with fresh rosemary, sea salt, and pepper. Add carrots, red potatoes, or non-GMO brown rice. Add sliced oranges or fresh cranberries if desired.
  • Most Thai or Asian meals are easy to duplicate at home and many Thai Kitchen products and recipes are suitable.
  • White bean turkey chili

 

Maintaining Health Using a Combo of Paleo and Limited Starch/Gluten-Free Alternatives

We’ve gotten into a good routine since school began in August. Parker is doing awesome, is full of energy and his skin looks great. He is ounces away from hitting 60 pounds and his teachers say he is a great student who contributes and interacts regularly.

I am so thankful for the many resources out there that have helped me in this journey. Recently, a few readers have contacted me asking for my interpretation of enzyme levels for themselves or others. Somewhere in the blog archives I think I addressed this, but I will explain my perspective on the issue to be clear.

I am not a scientist or a doctor. However, since my family has personally found success in modifying our diet with a primary focus on individual symptoms rather than enzyme levels, I am encouraging my audience to do the same. Yes, enzyme levels may indicate overall tolerance levels, but it seems each person has many other factors aside from digestive enzymes that can play a part. The goal is to reduce digestive stress, strengthen the digestive process by minimizing toxins and processed foods and including support-based supplements, and to monitor each person for symptoms.

Here is a look back to how the current challenge in our CSID journey began.

May 2013: Parker, age 9 had been suffering from severe eczema since December despite the modified diet I had created (see A Place to Start without Sugar or Starch). Unknown factors surfaced at this time including a lack of Parker taking his digestive supplements with cafeteria-based school lunches. I took Parker to the doctor for the 4th or 5th time and requested an allergy panel to determine if he was reacting to additional foods. The allergy panel came back showing he was now allergic to MILK, WHEAT, EGG WHITES, SHRIMP, COCKROACHES, CEDAR and GRASS POLLEN, CAT and DOG HAIR and DANDER, and PENICILLIN. A previous allergy test when he was six had come back negative for allergies to all of these so this was a new development.

My whole approach had to change. Not only did I need to now eliminate several more foods (milk and eggs had been a staple in his diet up to this point), I also had to find ways to bring healing to his body. Over the years I had learned about conditions such as “leaky gut” that could cause temporary food allergies as well as autoimmune conditions. Not one to simply cover-up symptoms, I was determined to bring my son–once again–into a state of health and well-being by getting to the root of the cause.

REVIEW 2013 POSTS for details on the process and how I ultimately found the best combination for healing Parker’s condition. Time alone was a major factor, but I want to encourage anyone if they stay the course, and keep trying various means, there is hope of healing in the end!

Over the past couple of months, Parker’s symptoms have remained under control event though I have made some exceptions and compromises to his once strict diet. To give hope, I want to summarize his current diet, but please know that EACH PERSON IS DIFFERENT. There are too many factors involved to know these particular foods can all be okay for your individual case. However, know that it is possible to expand the diet once symptoms are under control and methods for curbing mild outbreaks or digestive distress are at hand.

In a typical week, Parker’s normal diet currently includes one of the following for each meal:

BREAKFAST:

  • My homemade NUT CEREAL (raw almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts plus dates, raw unsweetened coconut, spoonful of honey and cinnamon, and coconut oil pulsed in food processor until it looks like granola) with unsweetened almond milk.
  • Nature’s Path Organic PUMPKIN FLAX GRANOLA with unsweetened almond milk plus VITAL-ZYMES.
  • APPLEGATE FARMS NATURAL SUNDAY BACON, white sweet potato peeled, shredded, and fried in bacon fat, omelet-style eggs yolks with a drizzle of pure maple syrup PLUS vital-zymes
  • SMOOTHIE with frozen blueberries, banana, whole-fat coconut milk (organic Thai Kitchen in a can), half avocado and a handful of greens such as kale or spinach.
  • Occasionally Van’s Gluten-Free pancake or waffles. (NOTE: No more than 2x per week or he begins to show symptoms.)
LUNCH: (Vital-Zymes with every meal containing sugar or starch alternatives)
  • Minimum of 3 non-starchy vegetables (cucumber, spinach, carrots, bell pepper, avocado, tomato)
  • 1 semi-sweet fruit (fruit leather, strawberries, applesauce, pear, apple or grape juice)
  • 1 starch substitute (Schar gluten-free classic rolls, brown rice tortilla, left-over brown rice pasta)
  • Nuts in either a snack-bar form or loose. (Almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  • Occasional exception of organic peanut butter for use with celery or apple slices.
  • Sweet Potato chips, Veggie Sticks
  • APPLEGATE farms deli meats either loose or in a sandwich roll or wrap. Salami, roasted turkey and roast beef are his favorite. He uses mashed avocado as a “mayonnaise substitute”. I am trying to get him to try mustard, but he won’t.
  • Left-over chicken, hamburgers, steak, etc. from previous nights dinner with tossed salad and lemon juice dressing.
  • Wild canned salmon, trout, or tuna with only water or oil (no soy or broth.)
DINNER:
  • Variety of baked or cooked chicken, turkey breast, salmon, sirloin beef burgers, Applegate farms beef hot dogs, pork, ground turkey or grass fed beef.
  • Rice pasta, baked or fried (in olive oil or meat fat) potatoes (white sweet, white regular, red), brown rice or no starch.
  • steamed non-starchy vegetables–green beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, winter or summer squash
  • fresh tossed salad with leafy greens, lettuce and a variety of other vegetables
We have tried corn-based products a few times but Parker seems to break out in a rash within a day or so. Some of the above products have traces of corn and don’t seem to present a problem. We also avoid soy products for various reasons but as more of a preference than an necessity.
If Parker begins showing signs of distress (rashes, excess gas, sleeping late, difficulty concentrating) the first thing I do is reduce or eliminate the starchy substitutes (gluten-free foods, grains, potatoes). Then I add a few cups of herbal healing teas (Dandelion tea, Traditional Medicines “Throat Coat”, peppermint and/or chamomile teas) through the week for internal assistance, and apply a thin layer of his prescription eczema cream to inflamed patches of skin. Within 48 hours, these techniques have reversed any symptoms and Parker returns to normal.
Frequent showers and applying protective lotions have also been important in reducing external irritating factors.
I hope this update will help you! I am not sure when I will be back again, as I am in the process of final edits for my fiction book set to release in April of 2015. Eventually, I plan to pull A Place to Start Without Sugar or Starch, complete a full-revision and republish with our updated story, recipes, and resources. It will eventually be less of a “recipe book” and more of an encouraging guide for parents to know they are not alone and to point them in the direction of the many resources I have found helpful and healing in our own journey.

New Enzymes with Sucrase!

My sister came across these while doing research for her nutrition class. We are giving them a try now that Parker’s eczema is under control. Although he still showing some symptoms, we believe it’s mostly environmental. As of yesterday this will be the only digestive support he will take until the bottle is gone.

I will continue to give Parker his antihistamine at night, and apply the prescription ointment for topical treatment. For the record here is a picture I took of him yesterday when we were baking gingerbread cookies gluten free of course.

They are available through various Amazon sellers. Simply search: “Klaire Labs Vital-Zymes chewable”

As you can see he still has some irritation around his eye and some spots on his neck…but huge improvement over all.

A Ph Balanced Diet in Light of CSID



I first became aware of the importance of pH in May of 2007. Having exhausted all the possibilities with traditional medicine in regards to bringing my son to a state of complete health and well-being, I made an appointment for Parker with an alternative medicine doctor. Known for her non-evasive testing techniques and reputation of healing herself from cancer, I welcomed the advice of Dr. Cindy Schmillen as a breath of fresh air and a hope that my son didn’t have to suffer for the rest of his life.
Parker had been to numerous specialists and had many tests done over his three and a half years of life. Each time, I braced myself and warned the nurses and technicians about the inevitable breath-holding<!–[if supportFields]> XE “breath-holding” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> spell that was sure to commence once the poking and prodding began. Our experience at the small, home-made clinic office was a complete contrast to any other. Parker remained calm and talkative throughout each procedure, non of which required him to experience pain or for me to hold him down. After the doctor reviewed the results, we sat down with her in her office and Parker slowly nursed his pomegranate-juice cocktail. Cindy asked me a few simple questions about Parker’s eating habits, and then explained the test results to me.
She knew he had a history of seizures and that he had not grown well his whole life. She showed me a chart and explained how most of his organs were still under a lot of stress, despite the fact I had removed all sugars and starches from his diet. His body was in a highly acidic state, which had promoted the growth of a fungus within his blood stream and left his immune system<!–[if supportFields]> XE “immune system” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> in a weakened state. She had also detected high levels of salt, and told me point blank Parker could have died of a heart attack during any of his breath-holding<!–[if supportFields]> XE “breath-holding” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> spells! Then she asked me if I was able to invest around $80 per month and make a few minor changes to his diet.
I admit I was a bit hesitant at first. She didn’t know much about CSID, and I didn’t want to put Parker under further stress. However, she was the first doctor to connect-the-dots with all of Parker’s symptoms and she was the first to confidently assure me that Parker could thrive if I followed her suggestions. And I did want him to thrive—I wanted to know I was doing all I could to improve and maintain Parker’s health, regardless of the types of food he could eat.
The first priority was to bring his body into balance and reduce the acidity in his system. Dr. Schmillen ‘prescribed’ liquid Chlorophyll, papaya-mint enzyme tablets, and calcium gluconate powder. In addition, she told me to give him fresh lemon juice in water with all of his proteins, and to eliminate all the cheese in his diet. If I wanted to give him milk, she recommended low fat in only small amounts. All of these measures would sooth Parker’s digestive system and begin to bring his body back to a state of alkalinity, where it would then be able to begin to heal, defend itself, and begin to grow at a normal pace. The chlorophyll<!–[if supportFields]> XE “chlorophyll” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> and calcium were also ‘activated’ with AbramsFrequency Device. The ‘activation’ was set to a specific electrical current that would help to kill off the harmful fungus in Parker’s system. As important as the activation device was to Parker’s acceleration in healing—I believe the use of chlorophyll and calcium alone can still result in bringing about an alkaline balance in others.
At that same time, Parker had seen most of his specialty doctors with follow-up appointments scheduled for the next year. I remember telling them all I was going to be looking into alternative methods that may reduce Parker’s breath-holding<!–[if supportFields]> XE “breath-holding” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> spells and encourage an upward climb on the growth chart. I vividly recall each doctor crossing his arms and legs as their eyes told me I was just going to waste my time and money on such ventures. He had tested borderline for receiving growth-hormone therapy and I wanted to exhaust every other possibility before I would add a daily injection to his routine.
In March of 2008, after a year of implementing the supplements and dietary changes recommended by Dr. Schmillen, I took Parker to see his other doctors. After weighing, measuring and examining Parker they all came to the same conclusion: I was to keep doing whatever I was doing because Parker was doing great! He had grown five inches and gained over five pounds! I must remind you that in the year and a half between his CSID diagnosis and implementing an alkaline-based diet, Parker had only gained a couple of pounds and hardly grown in height at all. And though his seizures had stopped, he was still having regular breath-holding<!–[if supportFields]> XE “breath-holding” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> spells.
Though I believe several factors were involved in promoting Parker’s overall health and accelerated growth, there is no question in my mind that increasing the increase in alkaline forming foods and supplements have contributed greatly to his body’s ability to heal and defend itself. By healing, I mean reducing the stress and trauma to his digestive system and other organs. Promoting alkalinity and using the other methods I discuss in my book and blog will not CURE your child of CSID, but will assist your child in feeling well, despite the disorder.
So what was actually taking place in Parker as a result of his acidosis? The following symptoms can result in anyone experiencing high acid levels in the body as the body attempts to fix the imbalance with limited resources:

Compiled from The Acid Alkaline Food Guide— (my notes and comments added in parentheses)

·                 Enzymes begin to malfunction(ability to digest milk or lactose often the first to go)
·                  Reduction in bone formation(Parker’s last bone test showed a year of loss, or that his bone-age was that of a three-year-old at age 4. He also did not erupt any teeth between 12 and 24 months—having only ten teeth until his was two years old.)
·                 Loss of ability to repair cells, tissues and organs.
·                  Suppression of growth hormone (this was probably why Parker growth-hormone tests kept coming back low)
·                  Increase in free-radicals which impairs antioxidants and reduces the body’s ability to fight off infection and disease. (This could explain the higher rate of respiratory illness in children with CSID)
·                 Chronic inflammation and pain(It is possible that Crohn’s disease may develop in those with CSID who do not alter their diets appropriately.)
·                  Increased fluid and retention (I believe at times this gives a false-sense of our children ‘gaining weight’, especially when the type of carbohydrate is changed such as when Parker went from breast milk to formula.)
·                  Disruption of the balance of intestinal bacteria with related digestive problems (harmful bacteria thrive on simple carbohydrates like sugar and white flour)
·                  Encourages the growth and spread of yeast and fungi
·                  Encourages a breeding ground for viruses, which require an acidic environment with low levels of antioxidants to survive.
·                  Reduces the energy reserves in the brain, causing a weakened mental capacity (Parker’s developmental delays and possibly his seizures prior to diagnosis. In addition, while eating school lunches last year–which are packed with acid-causing foods, he struggled to concentrate and often complained of being tired)
·                  Mild hypothyroidism (Explains Parker’s short stature, though test results were inconclusive)
·                  Low Phosphorus resulting in loss of appetite or anemia, muscle weakness, etc.
·                  Build up of toxic residues in the body – Suboptimal liver detoxification.
There are other affects of high acidity in the body, but these were the predominant ones affecting Parker either prior to his CSID diagnosis, or still prevalent before I began keeping a better eye on what he was still eating that could promote acidity. There is a way to test the normal pH levels in order to determine how much alkaline foods are needed to bring a healthy balance back to the body. However, eating 60-80% alkaline foods per meal will generally bring about the needed balance. One of the most encouraging elements specifically for those with CSID, is that most sugar-free, starch-free foods are alkaline forming foods.
You need not eliminate all acid-forming foods, but be wary of serving large amounts for each meal. For example, I initially removed all cheese and milk from Parker’s diet. As he has become more accustomed to eating the alkaline forming foods, I use these foods as an added treat or reward for when he tries new foods. Parker loves cheese and sour cream on pretty much everything—but since I am now aware of the acid-forming affects of these foods, I try to keep the serving sizes to a minimum while increasing the amounts of alkaline forming foods with each meal.
Another aspect to consider is the use of Sucraid<!–[if supportFields]> XE “Sucraid<![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> for foods containing refined sugar. Since Sucraid is a yeast and likely causes an acid-forming affect (though this has never been determined scientifically)—using it in combination with foods known to promote acidity, can have unknown negative affects. Because of this, I adamantly discouraging the use of Sucraid for anything other than naturally occurring sugars in fruits and for use with pre-packaged foods that may not disclose small amounts of sucrose<!–[if supportFields]> XE “sugars:sucrose” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> contained in the product. 
The following list is only a partial list of CSID friendly foods, most of which I use in my recipes. For a complete list of foods and their acid/alkaline affects, spend some time on the website Balance pH Diet. Always cross-reference foods with the lists on CSIDinfo.com.


CSID  Foods
Listed By Their Known Alkaline/Acid Forming Results
+ High Forming
– Low Forming
S– Sucraid recommended
ALKALINE FORMING—
use these often and liberally
ACID FORMING—
permissible but not beneficial, use sparingly or in smaller portions
Almond Butter (no added sugar, Group B & C only)
Sacharin (Sweet ‘n Low)
Almonds (Group B & C, possible Group A)
Aspartame * (Equal)
Apple Cider +
Lima beans (butter beans) –
Apple Juice (unsweetened) S
Hamburger +
Applesauce (unsweetened) S
Steak +
Asparagus  + S
Splenda<!–[if supportFields]> XE “Splenda<![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> * (sucralose<!–[if supportFields]> XE “sucralose” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>)
Avocados
Coffee
Baking Powder (corn-starch Free)
Carrot Juice –
Bananas (super-ripe only) S
Soda +
Bell Pepper S
Tap water –
Black Pepper
Blackberries +
Cheese<!–[if supportFields]> XE “Cheese<![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>
Blueberries
Cottage Cheese<!–[if supportFields]> XE “Cheese<![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–>
Bottled Mineral Water
Butter –
Broccoli
Vegetable Oil
Cauliflower, Cabbage
Fish
Celery +
Pomegranate
Cherries
Lunch Meat
Coconut Oil
Turkey
Coconuts
Salmon
Cucumbers
Iodized salt
Currants (Group B, C)
Stevia –
Eggplant
Flaxseed Oil
Honey
Garlic
Ginger Root (Group B,C– 3.1gr starch per 100gr)
Grape Juice –
Canned Tomato Paste –
Grapes
Green Olives
Herb Teas
Spinach –
Kale  +
Kiwi  +  S
Lemon Juice +
Lemons
Maple Syrup –
Lettuce
Lime Juice +
Limes +
Pork, ham, bacon
Mandarin Oranges + S
Tomato-based pasta sauce with meat
Mangos + S
Mushrooms –
Olive Oil
Onion  +  S
Orange juice – S
Tomatoes –
Oranges S
Chicken
Papaya + S
Peaches    S
Pears  S
Raspberries S
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Sea Salt
Snowpeas –
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Strawberries +
Sour Cream –
Sunflower Seeds – S
Sweet Potatoes  S
Watermelon S
Zucchini (summer squash), Lima beans and Navy Beans
Keep in mind that cooking vegetables kills valuable enzymes<!–[if supportFields]> XE “enzymes” <![endif]–><!–[if supportFields]><![endif]–> which help the body to break down the food as well as alter the alkaline forming affects. The more a food is cooked, the more acid-forming it becomes. Steaming or quickly sautéing vegetables will help to retain the enzymes as the alkaline forming affect they have once they are eaten. All canned foods generally become acid-forming and lose most of their valuable nutrients in the canning process. I recommend using fresh, frozen and organic whenever possible. This ensures the highest level of antioxidants and nutrients and the lowest possible traces of toxins, pesticides, or unknown ingredients.
As you conduct your own research and review the links below, know that there are some variations regarding which foods are considered acid-forming or alkaline-forming. There is also a theory out there that blood-type may also be a factor. Even with these inconsistencies, I think this list will be an “ah-ha” moment for many, as it was for me. You will see that the majority of the foods I use in my recipes include those that are alkaline-forming, and this is why!

Enzymes for Carbohydrates Update

Parker and I are now in week two of using the Kirkman Isogest for assisting us in digesting carbohydrates (specifically starch) with our meals. To date we have used it with pasta, cereal, rice, sprouted grain bread and even Girl Scout Thin Mints!

As long as we keep the servings small (actual serving sizes) we are having no issues with belly pain, gas or other symptoms.

When I emailed the chemist at the Kirkman labs, he informed me that he knows of several CSID families who use Isogest successfully. As I mentioned in a previous post on Enzymes, the main reason why this enzyme therapy is not referenced for use by those with CSID, is that they do not have the funding to conduct the necessary studies to achieve FDA approval. He also said he would be willing to donate several bottles to parents with CSID children in trade for providing data and feedback regarding the successful use of their product. If you are interested in recieving a free bottle of Isogest to try with your child and you understand Kirkman can make no claims of guarantee or possible side affects and are willing to try it at your own risk, please let me know right away. If I can gather 12 parents, we might be able to use our results and apply for a research grant to fund an official study to approve Isogest for CSID.

In addition to the Nature’s Sunshine Enzymes I have listed on the sidebar, the Kirkman Isogest appears to serve the similar purpose of of assisting with carbohydrate, or isomaltase digestion.

In this day and age where making all food from scratch is not realistic, being able to choose the least-processed food without concern for starch is sure making my life easier! I would love your feedback regarding your own experience (and your child’s) using Isogest or the Nature’s Sunshine Enzymes. Regardless of enzyme levels, these supplements can assist your body in digesting carbohydrates, relieving digestive stress and broadening the types of foods you can eat.

One more wonderful advantage to these supplements in comparison to Sucraid (which should still be taken with foods containing sucrose), is that they do not need to be refrigerated! Though I store mine in the fridge to maintain freshness, throwing a few capsules in my purse during a day out is so much easier than toting around a cooler with ice!

Enzymes for Starch and Other Digestive Support Products

Nature’s Sunshine specializes in supplements for digestive health. The label on their new and improved FOOD ENZYMES claims they can assist in digesting up to 30 grams of carbohydrates per meal! This is great news for CSID families! However, as with all supplements, the only way we will really know if they work is to give them a try. Please see the links to these enzymes and other supplements mentioned on this post to the left of this page.

Nature’s Sunshine is also the company I order chlorophyll, aloe vera juice and probiotics from. Once you select the link to any of these products by clicking on their name above or on the left side of this page, you can search for the remaining products after you are redirected to the Nature’s Sunshine website. If you choose to order more than $40 worth of products, you will receive the membership pricing.

SPECIAL NOTE: The links provided from this blog will automatically generate my member number as your sponsor. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please let me know. Since Nature’s Sunshine distributes its products through representatives and is not available in stores, it is considered a direct marketing company. All this means is that instead of investing in advertising or marketing to large stores, it compensates those who bring them business and invests would-be-advertising dollars into creating higher-quality products. I have never come across a product on a store shelf that compares to the quality of Nature’s Sunshine or other direct-marketing health company’s products, such as Shaklee (where I purchase multi-vitamins and cleaning products). Just to be clear, this is not a solicitation or an attempt to make money for my own gain. This is just the best way to pass on quality products to you based on what my family has experienced! There are no added sugars, fillers or starches to these supplements, a factor difficult to find on most store shelves.

The combination of the chlorophyll cocktail and marshmallow root capsules were key in bringing healing to Parker’s irritated and inflamed digestive system. The fact that he recovers in 48 hours or less from vomiting or diarrhea associated with ingesting harmful foods by accident, is all the proof I need regarding the effectiveness of these digestive support supplements.

As always, I encourage eating healthy whenever possible. However, I understand that there are times when time, money or other circumstances call for compromising the food we feed our children. By including these supplements on a daily basis, you will be doing your part to keep your child’s digestive system strong during moments you cannot control what he or she eats.

Please do not use these products as license to allow harmful foods on a regular basis, as you will simply be wasting your money and compromising your child’s long term health and eating habits. I say this as a mother who has let her guard down, failed to curb poor eating habits, and witnessed my children suffer as a result.

When I fail, I take a deep breath and start over again. Each time I grow more resolve, discover additional solutions, and reap the reward of a healthy family!

Enzyme Levels and Enzyme Digestive Support for CSID

Small Bowel Biopsy Results and Suggested Supplements

Here are the results from my own children’s small bowel biopsies. This is the test that confirmed their CSID diagnosis. If your child has had the small bowel biopsy, ask your doctor for the results so that you can compare them to normal levels.

Function of Lactase

Lactase’s primary function is to break down a type of sugar called lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. As a large sugar compound, lactose cannot be absorbed naturally by your body. In order to metabolize this form of sugar, your body needs lactase to break down lactose into two smaller particles called glucose and galactose. These smaller sugar molecules are more easily absorbed by the cells in your intestine. Without lactase, lactose remains in your digestive tract and cannot be used by your body. http://www.livestrong.com/article/390563-what-are-the-functions-of-the-enzyme-lactase/#ixzz1khYBw3Sn

Functions of Maltase and Sucrase

There are a series of special enzymes that are necessary for the breakdown of specific things. Maltase, invertase, sucrase and diastase are all enzymes that break down specific sugars we ingest. Maltase and diastase break down malt sugar—the kinds of sugars you find in malt liquor and other malted foods. Invertase and sucrase also break down sugar but are better able to break down sucrose or table sugar. Those of us with a high sugar intake especially need these enzymes available. If they can’t do their job, the bacteria in our gut are the only things that have the advantage. Stomach cramps, bloating and gas can result if the sugar-digesting enzymes are inadequate.
Read More: http://www.beta-glucan-info.com/digestive_enzyme_facts.htm

Normal and Abnormal Ranges for Each Enzyme

Lactase: Normal Range 16.5- 32.5, Abnormal is less than 16
Sucrase: Normal Range 29-79.8, Abnormal is less than 25
Maltase: Normal Range 98-223.6, Abnormal is less than 100
Palatinase: Normal Range 4.6-17.6, Abnormal is less than

My son, Parker’s test results at 18 months old (2005):
Lactase: 30.4
Sucrase: 6.6
Maltase: 39.0
Palatinase: 0

My daughter Elora’s test results at age 15 (2008)
Lactase: 21.1
Sucrase: 2.3
Maltase: 50.4
Paltinase: 2.3

Currently, they are both able to tolerate some starch from various sources but an excess of grain-based starches or legumes eventually leads to signs of inflammation and struggling immunity. Only when they are taking digestive and systemic enzymes on a regular basis, are they able to succeed including small portions of high-starch-based foods without symptoms.

Enzymes our Family Has Used with Success Include:

Digestive Enzymes

Carb Digest with Isogest appears to assist with the digestion of disaccharides, the primary deficient enzymes for those with CSID. I have contacted an expert from their company about determining the safety of this product for children. If you have used this product, please let me know if it works! This could be a great Sucraid substitute or complimentary enzyme therapy.

Vital-Zymes™ Chewable contain a full-spectrum of digestive enzymes focused on carbohydrate digestion plus enteric-coated serratia peptidase, a systemic enzyme that may help with supporting various healthy inflammation responses.

Vitazym Digest for those who will and can swallow capsules, or if needed, sprinkle half to one capsule on food. This formula includes a total of 18 enzymes to support digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Consult your medical practitioner regarding proper dosing for children.

Systemic Enzymes

For more on Systemic Enzymes, see the blog post I wrote for Energetic Nutrition HERE.

Vitalzym Extra Strength™

Fibrenza™